We recently spoke with Ann Dolin, founder and president of Educational Connections Tutoring, and she shared some thoughts on appealing to boys natural aggression over girls in the classroom.
by Ann K Dolin:
Research has also shown that boys absorb the most information when working with a teacher or parent who has a louder voice, and acts similarly to a sports coach, continuously encouraging and pushing them. This research suggests that boys maintain attention best and foster a healthy competition with others when the teacher continuously moves around the room, and calls randomly on boys, keeping them on their toes.
Unlike boys, girls typically do not function well when they are called on at random. Girls prefer to work in a warm environment with face to face interaction with their teacher and peers. Girls communicate and learn best when the teacher or parent is facing them, making eye contact and speaking in a soft, nurturing manner.
There has been debate over how much of the learning differences between boys and girls is biological rather than learned behavior. However, the majority of studies conducted on the topic suggest that a mix of the two has lead today’s children to their learning styles.
As a parent or educator there are various things you can do to promote success among students of both genders. One of the biggest recommendations experts have is to include physical activity in the classroom environment or homework setting. Studies have shown that allowing kids to get up and move around increases focus, attention and memory. Another thing to consider incorporating is reading for fun. While this may sound like an obvious solution for boosting academic success, it is important to include the fun part of reading. Researchers have found that introducing comic books or graphic novels to boys who would rather play video games than pick up a book is a good way to bridge the gap. These books have an action plotline that piques boys’ interests and the pictures included can allow boys to visualize the story as it goes along.
Ann K. Dolin, M.Ed.,, is the founder and president of Educational Connections Tutoring and Test Prep in Fairfax, VA and Bethesda, MD. In her award-winning book, Homework Made Simple: Tips, Tools and Solutions for Stress-Free Homework, Dolin offers proven solutions to help the six key types of students who struggle with homework. Numerous examples and easy-to-implement, fun tips will help make learning less of a chore for the whole family. Learn more at ectutoring.com. Ann can be followed on Twitter: @HomeworkMaven.